Cimetière du Père Lachaise, Paris, France. June 2018 (14 photos)

This is Part 7 of my France 2018 photo series, and also Part 16 of my Europe 2018 photo series.

For my second week in Paris, I chose to stay in Le Marais which was a very convenient base for exploring East Paris in particular. But it’s easy to walk across Paris regardless. One day I even walked from the Eiffel Tower back to Le Marais. It took a couple of hours including various stops but I wasn’t in a rush. More conveniently, Cimetière du Père Lachaise is much closer to Le Marais.

Cimetière du Père Lachaise (Père Lachaise Cemetery) is the largest cemetery in the city of Paris, but not the only cemetery, and is notable for being the first garden cemetery, as well as the first municipal cemetery. The cemetery takes its name from the confessor to Louis XIV, Père François de la Chaise (1624–1709). The cemetery was opened on 21 May 1804. The first person buried there was a five-year-old girl named Adélaïde Paillard de Villeneuve, the daughter of a door bell-boy of the Faubourg St. Antoine. Her grave no longer exists as the plot was a temporary concession.

I spent a couple of hours there one day. Basically I just wandered around aimlessly, although I did use the map to find a couple of gravesites. Each year, Père Lachaise Cemetery has more than 3.5 million visitors, making it the most visited cemetery in the world. Despite this it is very easy to get lost within its seemingly haphazard layout and experience a peaceful solitude, and I say that from experience.

Let’s take a wander…

Frédéric François Chopin (1 March 1810 – 17 October 1849) Composer

France Clidat (22 November 1932 – Paris, 17 May 2012) Pianist

James Douglas Morrison (December 8, 1943 – July 3, 1971) Singer-songwriter, The Doors

The bronze plaque bears the Greek inscription: ΚΑΤΑ ΤΟΝ ΔΑΙΜΟΝΑ ΕΑΥΤΟΥ, literally meaning “according to his own daemon, i.e., guiding spirit,” to convey the sentiment “True to Himself.”

Suffrace des femmes

Hubertine Auclert (April 10, 1848 – August 4, 1914) French feminist and a campaigner for women’s suffrage.

Humanité. Ensemble continu des êtres convergents

Tempus fugit

This is Part 7 of my France 2018 photo series.
This is Part 16 of my Europe 2018 photo series, including Czechia (The Czech Republic), The Netherlands, France, Italy, Austria, Greece and Germany.

Leica Etcetera, Photography Etcetera

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92 thoughts on “Paris in the Spring (6)

  1. Isn’r it sth? I love graveyards.
    So did u have a map? One should take a guide so as to see the most of it and not get lost like me.
    My fave is O.Wilde. Did u see it? It looks like him. Very extravagant.

    • It’s an amazing place. I had a map I downloaded off the internet, from their website I think. I used it to find a couple of sites but then ditched it and simply walked around. I think it was better that way.
      Yes, I saw Oscar Wilde’s memorial. Plenty of beautiful monuments there.

  2. Cemeteries are so different, this one is very beautiful with plants and statues. Here in Finland is normally trees, pined and birches, but the size of a stone is a standard, normally black granite and and they stand in straight tows. I like more this Paris style with very personal grave “stones”.

    • This sis very different to the ones I’ve seen elsewhere. It’s very much a decorative garden and the plots are very unique, rather than uniform, which gives it a unique character. It’s a beautiful place to just walk.

  3. Ah, thanks for the visit. Like you I think I would just wander around getting lost. Sometimes things can be over-planned. I have also walked from the Eiffel tower as far as the Louvre, stopping at various places to explore like the Garden of the Champs Elysees which rarely gets mentioned. I like doing that in a city. I am surprised at how simplistic the Jim Morrison grave is though. And my favourite image is the blue door and the wings.

    • My pleasure, Jude. There are so many small trails off the main paths it does work best to just wander wherever the eye/mind tells you to. It’s the small details that don’t appear on maps that completed personalise the experience, whether it is in this beautiful cemetery or the city itself. I hope my photos over this series have conveyed that.
      Jim Morrison’s grave is actually cordoned off, so it is difficult to adorn it and to steal from it. I’m guessing an ornate memorial didn’t sit well with the family.

  4. This cemetery is well maintained, your photos are well captured. Chopin died young, he was buried there peacefully. Thank you for the tour, Dragon.
    You photos are how the cemetery wants to be remembered…

    • Thank you very much, Amy. It’s a beautiful place to just wander and feel at peace, despite it being one of the most haunted places in the world (apparently). Well worth a visit. I even saw a guided tour whilst I was there.

  5. My favorite place in Paris, and supposedly one of the most haunted places in the world. I did have a very odd experience there, not sure if it was a ghost or “just” an intense synchronicity. You made the obligatory stop at Morrison’s grave, as I always do. 🙂 Were there a lot of people there? Every time I go there are more people. Le mystique only grows with time.

    • I can understand your love for this place. I remember you writing about that experience and seeing your photos from this cemetery.
      Morrison’s gravesite was actually a little difficult to find and it is set back and cordoned off from the path. There were about 7-10 people there in the time I was there. No guided tour group at the time luckily. It’s so big, there must be something new to discover every time you go.

  6. Just wandering often you discover amazing sights and so it is with this beautiful meander around the cemetery. So much history and the statues and sculptures are works of art. Thank you for taking us with you, the photos are superb

  7. The sense of mystery of the Cimetière du Père Lachaise you bring out through your photos. I’ve never been, but it reminds me very much of Lafayette Cemetery in New Orleans, where there is such a strong French connection.

  8. Thank you for the visit – I love this place and went with my daughter and mother some years ago. Cemeteries, graveyards will always get my visit wherever I travel. Beautiful shots. I agree about just strolling and contemplating – that is the way to go.

    • Thanks very much, Julie. It’s true, as long as we’re not the ones experiencing the sorrow actively. There is much beauty at this cemetery. I didn’t have enough time there.

  9. Heide says:

    Père Lachaise is one of my favorite places in Paris for a contemplative walk, because it seems like the rest of the city just vanishes while you’re within those tall stone walls. I’ve always struggled to do it justice in my photographs, though — so what a treat it is to see it so beautifully recorded through your eyes. I didn’t know the story of poor little Adélaïde Paillard de Villeneuve either, so thank you for furthering my education as well. Merci infiniment, as our French friends would say.

    • Your description of the city vanishing is so true. It’s such a calming and engrossing experience to be alone there wandering some narrow leaf-strewn path. I’d definitely allow more time there next time I go.

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